Pep Guardiola may look to rotate his side in the final five games of the Premier League season now Manchester City have been confirmed as champions, but he may well field a strong side for Sunday’s game against Swansea City.
Several players still need to make a handful of appearances to be classed as part of the title-winning team, but Guardiola will be determined to give the City fans something to celebrate when they welcome back their heroes to the Etihad Stadium.
MAN CITY INJURIES
Sergio Aguero is likely to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, while Benjamin Mendy is still working towards full match fitness following his long lay-off.
The France left-back returned to action for City’s U23s last week but is unlikely to start a Premier League game just yet.
John Stones has also been battling injuries recently and he will be assessed in the build-up to Sunday’s game.
MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS
Fernandinho is suspended for City.
MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Mendy, Claudio Bravo, Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz are in need of more appearances to be classed as part of a title-winning squad but it is possible that Guardiola will use many of them as substitutes to get them there, or at least for this coming game.
Bravo needs four more appearances, Foden and Brahim need two each, and Mendy only needs one.
City still have a number of records to play for, as well as the simple desire to finish the season well, and with so much time ahead of the World Cup there are not too many reasons to make sweeping changes.
Bravo may well start games in the coming weeks but as City have five games left and the Chilean needs four appearances, Guardiola could well stick with Ederson on Sunday.
The centre-back situation is usually hard to predict, but after being rotated out of the team at Spurs last weekend it is likely that Nicolas Otamendi will return, most likely alongside Vincent Kompany, who has generally started whenever required recently. There will be a desire to help Aymeric Laporte settle in, however, so he will be a strong candidate to start in the coming weeks, maybe on Sunday too.
Toure could be handed a start in midfield given Fernandinho is suspended but it makes more sense to start Ilkay Gundogan and bring Toure off the bench later on, for sentimental reasons, even if the title is already won.
Gabriel Jesus will surely replace the injured Aguero up front.
SWANSEA TEAM NEWS
Swansea have a number of doubts to contend with, as well as some longer-term injuries.
Renato Sanches is back in training following a hamstring problem that has kept him on the sidelines since January. Angel Rangel is recovering from the groin surgery he underwent in February, Luciano Narsingh picked up an ankle problem against Everton last weekend and Sam Clucas is also touch and go with a knee injury.
Wilfried Bony and Leroy Fer are out for the rest of the season.
OPTA MATCH FACTS
- Manchester City have won all six of their home Premier League games against Swansea, their best such 100% record in the competition.
- In league competition, Man City have won their last 11 at home vs Swansea, since a 2-1 loss in the second tier in March 1951.
- Swansea haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last nine league games against Man City, shipping 24 goals in total in that time.
- City haven’t lost consecutive home league games since February 2016, when they lost to Leicester and Tottenham.
- Pep Guardiola has never lost consecutive home league games as a manager at any of his previous clubs.
- Gabriel Jesus has had a hand in 22 goals in his 23 Premier League starts for Man City (16 goals, 6 assists), including a brace against Swansea in February 2017 at the Etihad.
- Jesus is still yet to end on the losing side in any of those 23 starts (W20 D3) – since his first league start in February 2017, City have won 87% of the matches when he starts compared to 69% when he doesn’t.
- David Silva has registered five goal involvements in his eight top-flight meetings with Swansea (3 goals, 2 assists).
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
Kick off is 16:30 BST (11:30 ET) on Sunday, April 22, and will be shown on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. It will be shown on NBC in the United States, and on various channels around the world.